This week I will be highlighting meals I had on a recent trip to Philadelphia. While I'm not of the mind to think of the City of Brotherly Love as the 6th borough, I do love the fact that it's super easy & quick to get to, and there's tons of amazing food to sample while you're there. AND, Brownstoner just launched a Philadelphia chapter, so the overlaps are numerous and increasing.
Our first dinner in the City took us to the area around the University. We were going to go to the widely-known White Dog Cafe, but they were only serving a Pre-Fixe menu we weren't interested in, so we ended up going to the The Bubble House (3404 Sansom Street, between S. 34th and S. 36th, 215-243-0804), an Asian Fusion restaurant and Tea House. There's a really casual front room, a 'back porch' feeling vibe in the room at the back, and then a section with private booths made with light blond wood and decorated with hanging plants. We settled in, ordered some amazing cocktails (Chai Bubble Tea with Vodka & Kahlua, Pomegranate Martini) and picked some food.
We started with the Vegetable Lemongrass Dumplings, served with a soy vinaigrette sauce for dipping. Five tender pockets filled with shredded carrots, celery & lemongrass, served steamed arrived and were a plump and tasty start to our meal.
For my entree, I picked the Sesame Seared Tuna with Jasmine rice, Baby Bok Choy and Sweet Chili Aioli. The tuna was a bit overcooked, as was the rice, and the bok choy was nearly nonexistent. Instead of the leafy tops, I got mostly watery stalk. It was a little like they were trying to hard to be "fancy". However, the seasoning was delicious, and I loved the crunch of the black sesame seeds. For some reason, despite all the weird parts to this dish, I loved it. Everything was in alignment that night which contributed to my being able to overlook these minor disappointments. Our waitress was awesome, the drinks were fantastic and I had great company.
For his entree, my boyfriend ordered the Grilled Denver Cute Steak with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Spinach and a Black Pepper Garlic Sauce. This, too, was overcooked and a little on the small side. But it was good enough, comforting, and in a way, perfect.
It's definitely a college neighborhood place. But I've got to tell you, I've been thinking about those Bubble Tea Cocktails ever since!